I get email

I do get strange complaints sometimes.

Dear Mr Myers,

My fathers name was Helmut Max Karl Ritter.

However, in Australia, due to people’s inability to pronounce his name correctly, he suggested that they call him Tom, Dick or Harry. Henceforth, they decided to call him ‘Tom Ritter’.

I take sincere umbrage at your rants against a Thomas Ritter, and the fact that you call him Tom Ritter and therefore everyone else that responds to your comments, calls him Tom Ritter.

If I do a search for the name Tom Ritter I do not expect or appreciate finding such vitriol as yours (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/01/tom_ritter_has_figured_out_the.php)

Please remove such offensive materials as I find it completely inappropriate and deeply disturbing, and in essence, it is a disservice to my father’s name and his history. If you do not wish to remove it, at least rename it appropriately as it is ‘supposedly’ about Thomas Ritter, which would have nothing to do with my father

Kind regards,
[Name removed] (daughter of Helmut (known as Tom) Ritter).

So her father, Helmut “Tom” Ritter, is an Australian. The crazy Tom Ritter I wrote about is a creationist school teacher in Pennsylvania. There is no connection other than the similar name.

I suggest that she instead write to the wacky school teacher and point out that his antics are bringing dishonor to the distinguished name of Ritter, and leave me out of it. I’m busy. I’ve got to write letters to the Herbalife con artist Paul Myers, the Canadian songwriter Paul Myers, the British graphic designer Paul Myers, and the Texas Attorney Paul Myers and convince them all to change their names.

I’m going to suggest that they change it to “Tom Ritter”.